During summer 2000 I spent some time in Atlanta, Georgia, for a big partner event. Atlanta is a great city and I had an opportunity to visit shops during my spare time. And well well, as an eager guitarist, I found myself at Guitar Center at the outskirts of downtown.
They told me that I just missed Steve Vai who visited there the previous day.
Steve Vai have been one of my great heroes after I started to play guitar again after about 15 years break. His pure talent, speed and creativity had made a big impression on me when I started to regain my skills.
Well, I was planning on buying a guitar during this particular U.S. visit and I had a particular guitar in mind that seemed to have a “calling” to me during my NYC visit a week ago. That was Ken Parker’s new age guitar “Fly” that had a fascinating new design.
So, once the clerk told me that Vai himself had tried one particular Classic Mahogany model of Parker Fly – guitar at their store I had made my decision – got to have it!
Well, after some years on G3 tour Steve visited Helsinki and together with his partner Joe Satriani had an autograph session at late-great Free Record Shop Helsinki. I took my Steve Vai Passion & Warfare notebook and rushed to record shop to meet the guy himself! After a 45 minutes of waiting I had a chance to change some words with him as I passed on the notebook to him for signing. He shook my hand as I told the story of myself buying the guitar he had touched in Atlanta! A connection established 😉
I have had an honor to listen him live many times. Last week he was again in Helsinki. Here’s a short video from the gig. Must admire!
Steve Vai picture credit: Wikipedia / RodrigoDC